Saturday’s 10-game slate provided plenty of highlights, including Kawhi Leonard looking good in his return, KAT recording another impressive double-double (in another loss), LeBron triple-doubling, and Jaylen Brown leading the way for the C’s. However, Damian Lillard once again stole the show with yet another 50-burger.
After recapping the important storylines from Saturday, we’ll wrap up the Dose by taking a look at a handful of players that are facing injury issues for Sunday’s games.
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Saturday’s Standouts:Kawhi Leonard (lower back tightness), who was a very late scratch Thursday night after tweaking his back during warmups, returned from a one-game absence on Saturday. He logged only 24 minutes in the Clippers easy 118-106 victory over the Wolves, but still managed to tally 31 points, six rebounds, four assists, one turnover, and four 3-pointers. He was just 9-of-21 from the floor, but did knock down 9-of-10 free throws.
Karl-Anthony Towns posted another solid double-double on Saturday, racking up 32 points with 12 rebounds, three assists, one block and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. He shot 11-of-22 from the field and 8-of-11 from the stripe. Unfortunately, it was in another losing effort. Minnesota is 0-15 in the last 15 games KAT has played. Incredibly, the last time the Wolves won a game with Towns in the lineup was the night before Thanksgiving.
Julius Randle helped push the Knicks past the Pacers in a shocking win Saturday night in Indiana. Randle ripped down a season-high 18 rebounds to go along with 16 points (5-of-14 FGs, 6-of-8 FTs), three assists and two steals in 35 minutes. Marcus Morris scored a game-high 28 points (10-of-21 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs) with six rebounds, one steal and three 3-pointers.
Bam Adebayo was unable to get it going offensively on Saturday, missing seven of his eight field-goal attempts for four points. However, the first-time All-Star still managed to stuff the stat sheet with 14 rebounds, five assists, three steals and four blocks in 38 minutes.
Bradley Beal poured in 34 points (11-of-23 FGs, 10-of-15 FTs) with six rebounds in the Wizards win on Saturday, while also racking up three steals and three blocks. The All-Star snub has scored at least 30 points in six consecutive contests. Thomas Bryant had 17 points (7-of-11 FGs) and ten rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench.
Draymond Green did it all for the Warriors in their win over the Cavs, accounting for eight points (3-of-6 FGs), seven rebounds, 16 assists, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes. Yes, Green has been frustrating to own this season, but his awesome upside was on display Saturday night. D’Angelo Russell had 19 points (6-of-14 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs), seven rebounds, eight assists and six 3-pointers in 29 minutes.
Jaylen Brown scored a game-high 32 points for Boston as the C’s spanked the Sixers on Saturday, 116-95. Brown also tracked on nine rebounds, one assist, two steals and one 3-pointer in 36 minutes. Jayson Tatum had 25 points (7-of-19 FGs, 8-of-10 FTs), three rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and three 3-pointers in 29 minutes.
LeBron James messed around and recorded his 11th triple-double of the season Saturday, compiling 15 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and one three-pointer in 34 minutes.
Damian Lillard is on a heater, the likes of which the league has never seen. Dame detonated for 51 points (17-of-29 FGs and 8-of-8 FTs), 12 assists (vs. just one turnover) and a nine made trifectas. His run over the last two weeks is simply staggering. He is the first player ever to make at least six treys in six consecutive contests, and he’s the first player in NBA history to average 45+ points and 10+ assists over a six-game span. Not a bad little game log of late, huh?1/20 vs. GSW: 61 pts, 10 reb, 7 ast, 11 3PT1/23 vs. DAL: 41 pts, 6 reb, 8 ast, 8 3PT1/26 vs. IND: 50 pts, 6 reb, 13 ast, 8 3PT1/29 vs. HOU: 36 pts, 10 reb, 11 ast, 6 3PT1/31 vs. LAL: 48 pts, 9 reb, 10 ast, 7 3PT2/1 vs. UTA: 51 pts, 2, reb, 12 ast, 9 3PT
Hassan Whiteside was wonderful for the Blazers as well, registering had 17 points, 21 rebounds, three blocks and one steal. He was 7-of-10 from the floor in 35 minutes.
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On the Radar:Prior to tip-off, coach Doc Rivers said Paul George (hamstring), would remain on a restriction of around 20 minutes in Saturday’s game vs. the Wolves. However, George logged 25 minutes Saturday afternoon. He looked spry, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block and three 3-pointers. Lou Williams had 17/4/6 in 29 minutes off the bench. Patrick Beverley scored 12 points with five rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and two 3-pointers.
Domantas Sabonis scored a team-high 25 points to go along with eight rebounds and two assists in a disappointing home loss to the Knicks. The newly-minted All-Star shot 10-of-15 from the field and 5-of-8 from the foul line. Myles Turner (illness) returned from a two-game absence and finished with 12 points (4-of-5 FG’s), six rebounds, one assist, four made triples and one steal in 34 minutes. Malcolm Brogdon was just 4-of-13 from the field for his eight points, but did dish out 12 assists and grab seven rebounds in 33 minutes. Victor Oladipo looked (understandably) rusty on Saturday, shooting just 2-of-14 from the floor for seven points with two rebounds, one assist, one steal and one three-pointer in 22 minutes.
Kendrick Nunn (left Achilles soreness) was back in action Saturday after missing three straight games. He started and played 17 minutes, scoring six points (2-of-5 FGs) with one assist and one 3-pointer. Tyler Herro was bumped to the bench but still poured in 23 points (7-of-12 FGs) and six treys in 26 minutes off the bench. Meyers Leonard was fantastic for the Heat, scoring 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting with a season-high 14 rebounds, one assist and a season-high four 3-pointers in 29 minutes.
Aaron Gordon had a much-needed solid all-around game on Saturday, finishing with 24 points (9-of-20 FGs), five rebounds, one assist, two steals and four 3-pointers. It’s the first time he’s scored more than 21 points in nearly two months, and his four treys were one shy of a season-high. Evan Fournier (lower back pain) was initially listed as questionable on the injury report but suited up and scored 12 points (3-of-13 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs) with one rebound, four assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Nikola Vucevic had 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one 3-pointer.
Jarrett Allen stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in 27 minutes on Saturday. He was 5-of-6 from the floor, but just 3-of-7 from the FT line. Spencer Dinwiddie had 26 points, six assists, four rebounds, four 3-pointers and one steal. If Kyrie Irving (knee) misses time, Dinwiddie will once again see all the playing time and FG attempts he can handle.
Kevon Looney (abdomen) made his first appearance since before Christmas, logging 13 minutes and ending up with two points, four rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot. Looney will continue to see limited minutes off the bench until he works himself into game shape. Marquese Chriss started again at center and finished with 10 points (5-of-11 FGs), seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and a season-high-tying four blocks in 25 minutes.
Jalen Brunson stepped in and stepped up for the Mavs on Saturday. Replacing JJ Barea in the starting lineup, he tallied a season-high 27 points (12-of-22 FGs), eight assists, four rebounds and two 3-pointers in just 27 minutes of action. Maxi Kleber also played well in a spot start, finishing with 18 points (6-of-9 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs) with six rebounds, four blocks, four 3-pointers, one assist and one steal in 30 minutes. Dorian Finney-Smith scored a season-high 22 points (7-of-13 FGs) with seven rebounds, four assists, four 3-pointers, two steals and one block in 29 minutes.
Cody Zeller had one of his best all-around games of the season on Saturday, tallying 14 points, 12 rebounds, a career-high eight assists, two steals, one block and just one turnover in 30 minutes. Miles Bridges backed up a solid game on Thursday with 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting, six rebounds, four 3-pointers, two assists and two blocks in 37 minutes on Saturday.
LaMarcus Aldridge (sprained right thumb) returned from a two-game absence on Saturday but wasn’t overly productive. He finished with eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block in 28 minutes. Jakob Poeltl headed back to the bench, yet totaled 17 points, seven rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist in 18 minutes. DeMar DeRozan was efficient yet again, ending his night with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, with six dimes and a couple of steals.
Ben Simmons was the only Sixer starter with more than 11 points on Saturday. Big Ben shot 9-of-14 from the floor (only 5-of-9 on FTs) en route to a 23/9/5 line. Joel Embiid made just 1-of-11 FG attempts for 11 points with five rebounds in 23 minutes. Al Horford (left knee soreness) was back after a one-game absence. He ended up with nine points on 4-of-11 shooting with nine rebounds, four assists and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes.
Anthony Davis (right shoulder soreness) was questionable on the second night of a back-to-back but did suit up on Saturday. However, he was relatively quiet, tallying 21 points (5-of-9 FGs, 10-of-10 FTs), four rebounds, six assists, two steals, one block and one three-pointer in 30 minutes. Avery Bradley scored a season-high 19 points (7-of-13 FGs) with two rebounds and five 3-pointers.
Mike Conley made his first start since December 17th and looked pretty good. Conley scored with 22 points on 9-of-20 shooting with four 3-pointers, four rebounds and four assists. It was the first time he’s cracked the 20-point plateau since a week before Thanksgiving. Royce O’Neale headed back to the bench and ended up with three points, six rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 23 minutes.
Carmelo Anthony (personal) sat out Friday’s game against the Lakers in Los Angeles “because of his continued grieving and emotions over the loss of Kobe Bryant.” However, he returned Saturday and finished with 15 points (5-of-15 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), five rebounds and one assist in 32 minutes.
Injury Tracker:Trae Young sprained his right ankle in the second half of Saturday’s game vs. Dallas. He had 12 points, six rebounds and one assist in 26 minutes at the time of his departure. It’s concerning because this is now the fourth time this season he’s tweaked/sprained this same ankle. Atlanta was down by 25 points in the third quarter when Young was ruled out, so it’s possible that the Hawks were merely playing it safe. After the game, Young was able to walk around the locker room and told reporters that wanted to go back in, but Hawks made the call to pull him. Atlanta’s next game is on Monday vs. Boston. If Young is ruled out, Jeff Teague and Brandon Goodwin would be the primary beneficiaries. Teague, who had six points, eight assists, four rebounds and one steal in 30 minutes on Saturday, would be a popular waiver-wire add if Young can’t play Monday.
Kyrie Irving sprained his right knee Saturday night in Washington after getting tangled with Bradley Beal and falling backward on the knee. He stayed in the game momentarily before limping off the court and heading directly to the locker room. Irving said he underwent X-rays, which were negative. He will undergo an MRI on Sunday. He did suffer a right knee strain in February 2019, when he was with the Celtics. Instead of speculating on this latest injury, we’ll wait until we get the results of the MRI. Spencer Dinwiddie was a fantasy monster when Kyrie missed 26 games because of a right shoulder impingement earlier this season.
T.J. Warren (head) left Saturday’s game vs. the Knicks during the third quarter after hitting his head on Myles Turner’s leg while falling in an attempt to draw a charge. Warren had to be helped back to the locker room and was ruled out for the remainder of the game a short time later. Warren was transported to a local hospital and was tested for a concussion. Justin Holiday and Doug McDermott would see an uptick in minutes if Warren, the Pacers’ leading scorer, misses time.
Kemba Walker (sore left knee) did not play Saturday vs. the Sixers, and coach Brad Stevens said Kemba would miss “probably at least one more game.” Walker’s knee reportedly “flared up” in Thursday’s victory over the Warriors. Stevens told reporters on Saturday morning that it’s not a “long, long term” thing by any means, but that the Celtics “could have to manage it.” Hopefully, Kemba will feel markedly better after a couple of days of rest and rehab and we get some good news early next week. Boston’s next game is Monday in Atlanta, and they then return home to host the Magic on Wednesday. Marcus Smart started on Saturday and finished with 16/4/4 in 34 minutes. Brad Wanamaker had 14/1/3 in 24 minutes off the bench.
Enes Kanter (right hip bruise) was ruled out of Saturday’s action as well. It was his fifth consecutive contest on the sideline for Kanter.
Kristaps Porzingis (injury recovery, left knee) was ruled out of Saturday’s game vs. the Hawks. Fresh off a season-high 35 points in 36 minutes on Friday night in a loss to the Rockets, the Mavs decided to sit him out on the second night of a back-to-back. The Mavs next game is Monday at Indiana, so hopefully, KP will be ready to rock for that contest. He will likely continue to see an uptick in usage rate and scoring opportunities with Luka Doncic (ankle) sidelined.
Seth Curry exited late on Saturday due to left knee tightness, and he did not return. Curry had 15 points, five treys, six boards and two assists in 21 minutes before being forced to the sidelines. The Mavs were up big at the time, so it’s possible this was simply a precautionary move.
De’Andre Hunter (left ankle sprain) did not play Saturday vs. the Mavericks. Cam Reddish started in place of Hunter, but was injured just seven minutes into the game. Reddish suffered a facial contusion, was ruled out, and entered the NBA’s concussion protocol. Bruno Fernando (left calf strain) had been listed as probable early in the day on Saturday, but was scratched before tipoff.
Allen Crabbe (left knee) did not play Saturday vs. the Clippers. However, he told reporters that he’s “he’s hopeful that he’ll be back on the court doing work [on Sunday] and is hopeful he’ll be able to play Monday.” Nonetheless, Crabbe belongs on waivers.
Frank Ntilikina (groin) was ruled out of Saturday’s game vs. the Pacers. This was his second straight game on the shelf, as he also unavailable to play Wednesday after his groin tightened up during pregame warmups. This is worrisome because he missed 31 of the team’s final 33 games last season due to a groin issue. Dennis Smith Jr. started for New York and finished with six points (2-of-9 FGs), three rebounds, six dimes and two turnovers in 27 minutes. Kadeem Allen had six points and two dimes in 21 minutes off the bench.
Rui Hachimura (groin) sat out again on Saturday. Back on Thursday, Brooks told reporters that Hachimura has a “great chance of coming back Saturday night,” yet Rui was not cleared. Brooks said that Rui does return, he will be limited to “around 15 minutes or so” but no more than 20.
P.J. Washington (right ankle sprain) was a very late scratch on Saturday. Marvin Williams made his first start of the season and finished with four points, four rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes vs. the Spurs.
Dewayne Dedmon (illness) sat out Saturday. Harry Giles started in his place and tallied 16 points (7-of-8 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), eight rebounds and one assist in 17 minutes.
Injury Notes for Sunday’s Games:Giannis Antetokounmpo (sore left hamstring) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game vs. the Suns. He sat out Tuesday’s game due to right shoulder soreness and has dealt with some other minor ailments this season, but this if the first time he’s popped up with a hamstring issue. The Bucks game tips off at 2:00 pm EST on SuperBowl Sunday, so we should have an update on his status at around 12:15 pm, when Coach Bud speaks to the media pregame. Ersan Ilyasova will likely draw the start if The Greek Freak is unable to play.
On Saturday afternoon, the Raptors announced that Norman Powell sustained a fracture to the fourth metacarpal (ring finger) of his left hand. He will be listed as out indefinitely, and he will be “reassessed as appropriate.” The injury occurred during the fourth quarter of Toronto’s win at Detroit on Friday. This is a tough blow for the Raps, as Powell has played very well of late. Over his last 15 appearances, Norm was averaging 18.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 treys, while shooting 53.8% from the floor and 88% from the FT line. With Powell on the shelf, Terence Davis and Patrick McCaw will likely be the biggest beneficiaries from a fantasy perspective.
Marc Gasol (hamstring) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle) have been ruled out for Sunday matchup with the Bulls. This will be the third straight game Gasol has missed since re-injuring his troublesome hammy.
Kris Dunn (knee) will not play Sunday against the Raptors. Dunn injured his knee on the first possession of Friday’s game, and we are awaiting word on the results of tests. Ryan Arcidiacono, Shaq Harrison and Denzel Valentine will likely divvy up extra minutes. Daniel Gafford (dislocated right thumb) is listed as questionable.
Gary Harris (personal) is not on the injury report for Sunday’s game against the Pistons. Harris missed two games due to an undisclosed personal reason but is on track to suit up Sunday. Either Monte Morris or Torrey Craig will get bumped to the bench.
Michael Porter Jr. (right ankle injury) will not play on Sunday. MPJ tweaked his ankle in Friday’s win, yet downplayed the injury after the game. However, the Nuggets may be erring on the side of caution with their talented young gun. Juancho Hernangomez, Malik Beasley and Torrey Craig are candidates for additional playing time.
Clint Capela (bruised right heel) has been ruled out of Sunday’s game vs. the Pelicans. This certainly wasn’t a surprise, as coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters on Friday that he doesn’t want Capela playing again “until he’s pain-free.” D’Antoni said the training staff would ultimately make decisions on Capela’s availability. After Sunday, the Rockets have five games prior to the All-Star break. It wouldn’t be shocking if Houston decided to shut him down for those remaining contests, which would allow him to rest for three full weeks before returning on February 20th, the Rockets’ first game after the break.
Ricky Rubio (right ankle soreness) is listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup with Milwaukee. Rubio has dealt with ankle soreness for the last couple of weeks but has yet to sit out due to the injury. If Rubio is ruled out, Tyler Johnson, Ty Jerome, Jevon Carter and Elie Okobo will compete for extra playing time.
Dario Saric (left ankle sprain) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Saric initially sprained the ankle Friday night vs. the Thunder. He did not even travel with the team to Milwaukee. Mikal Bridges is expected to soak up extra minutes.